What is it?
Clove Oil is a flavoring primarily in foods, dental analgesics and personal care products. 

How can I avoid it? 
Skin contact with Clove Oil is required for it to cause a rash. Discontinuation of exposure to products containing Clove Oil should result in improvement and/or resolution of your dermatitis. By law, all products made in the US for topical use have the ingredients listed either on the product package or the box that contains it, so check the labeling of your skin care products for this ingredient. If there is no information ask your pharmacist or call the company directly. At work, request a material safety data sheet (MSDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.

The avoidance of fragrances and flavoring agents such as Clove Oil can be difficult, since so many everyday products contain these substances. One should use only fragrance-free cosmetic and household products. “Unscented” products may contain low levels of a fragrance to cover up an undesirable odor and also should be avoided. Products labeled as “hypoallergenic” do not assure that the product is truly free of fragrance.

Since fragrances are complex mixtures of many ingredients, an individual may tolerate one fragrance but not another. A trial-and-error method of avoiding a fragrance allergen in a product can be performed by applying the product to the forearm in the same small area twice a day for a week. If no dermatitis develops, the product may likely be used safely.

Since some fragrances are also flavors, foods can, rarely, cause flare-ups of dermatitis in fragrance-sensitive individuals. Particularly if you have oral or lip allergies as discussed with your health care provider, you should avoid foods prepared with Clove Oil.

Direct contact with foods or products containing Clove Oil may cause symptoms including burning, irritation and redness. Direct contact may occur on the skin, lips or mouth. It is possible, but rare, that ingestion of this substance could cause generalized symptoms such as itching or redness of the skin.

  • Perfumes / Colognes / After-shaves / Toilet water 
  • Skin Care Products / Cosmetics
    • Soaps / Cleansers
    • Shampoos / Conditioners
    • Moisturizers
    • Make-ups
    • Powders / Sprays
  • Medications, topical, prescription and over the counter such as:
    • Acne treatment
    • Analgesic
    • Anesthetics
    • Antiseptics
    • Creams, Ointments, Solutions
    • Foot And Other Powders
    • Nasal Decongestants
    • Herbal remedies, including traditional Chinese medications
    • Wound Dressings 
  • Household products
    • Air Fresheners / Aromatherapy / Potpourri
    • Cleaning Products / Soaps / Detergents (A preferred household cleaner is dilute white vinegar.) 
    • Furniture polish
    • Laundry care (detergent, softeners)
  • Foods, candies, gum, beverages, various, as a flavoring or spice
  • Oral care products as a flavoring
    • Cough mixtures
    • Toothpaste / Mouthwash
    • Throat tablets and lozenges 
  • Tobacco, particularly clove cigarettes 
Other names for Clove Oil: 
  • Eugenia caryophyllus oil 
  • Oil of Clove
  • Syzygium aromaticum
Potential cross-reacting/co-reacting substances
  • Acetyleugenol 
  • Balsam of Peru 
  • Benzoin 
  • Caryophyllene 
  • Diethylstilbestrol 
  • Eugenol 
  • Furfural 
  • Isoeugenol 
  • Methyl amyl ketone 
  • Vanillin

How safe is it?

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